Corporate Sponsorship for our public schools. That is a proposal that sends ice through my heart. I once read a book, which is a kind of satire of the direction that this country is going with corporations becoming more and more powerful called Jennifer Government, by Max Barry. In Max Barry’s America, all aspects of life are incorporated, including the government, the schools, and the police. Employees of these megacorps take as their last name the name of the corporation that they work for: John Nike, Violet ExxonMobil, or Jennifer Government. Children in school take the name of the corporation that owns the school. Great book, I’d definitely recommend reading it.
I’m not saying that allowing corporate sponsorship and advertisement to our schools will begin the descent to a world where my daughter’s last name will become “McDonald’s” or mine will become “Outsourced to India” but it is a lamentable step in the wrong direction when a teacher is suggesting this as a remedy for the colossal disaster that is the Christina School District’s finances. We already live in a world where the once nobly named “Veterans Stadium” is now the FU Center… no wait, Corestates… no wait, Wachovia soon to be MBNA, no I mean Bank of America Center.
Why not implement a corporate-sponsored uniform, so our kids can proudly wear the Verizon logo? Instead of the national anthem, our school bands (should they survive the budget crisis) can play “I Want My Chili’s Baby Back Ribs” before the big game against the Chrysler H.S. Impalas in the Mattel Arena (bleachers provided by Amazon.com).
Corporate sponsorship for our schools seems like a slippery slope that would best be avoided. If we lived in an ideal world where our corporations could be trusted to not take advantage of the situation, then maybe maybe it would be worth selling out our education to the highest bidder.
Who am I kidding? The whole idea sickens me.